By Dr. Costello Garang Ring, Berlin, Germany
January 17, 2017 (SSB) —- If President Kiir and his advisers would really understand the background of a federal system and how it really functions, they wouldn’t continue creating additional states, but rather go back to the old ten states.
The Republic of South Sudan is currently at the brink of a total economic collapse, if it is not already engulfed by it. It really makes no sense to create additional states in a bankrupt country. This is beside the Presidential Decrees of the 14th of January being against the ARCSS and the constitution.
Federalism is not a modern form of tribalism. Citizens of different tribes could be citizens of the same state and are to be treated equally. The constitution of a state shouldn’t contradict the Basic Law of the whole nation. An Anyuak could be Governor of ABIEM, if he leaves and works there. A NUER could run Twic. What is possible at national level should also be at state level.
Federalism is not meant to enhance division in a divided nation at war with itself. It is not applied as a central unconstitutional solution to national constitutional conflicts. It serves national consensus and strengthen good administration at a local level. It is also not meant to marginalise specific ethnic groups from power sharing at national level.
States are to generate enough funds to finance their social, political and cultural activities with the federal government injecting in federal funds for developmental and security purposes, where and when this is constitutionally defined and necessary. There are federal institutions like the FBI in the USA or BKA in Germany, which are funded by the Centre. The normal local police is funded by its state
In South Sudan none of the 10 actual states was able to fund its police leave alone the state parliament and government. The old Central Equatoria and the oil producing Unity and Upper Nile could have done that, if we would have had a true and serious federal structure and not a corrupt instrument for the creation of positions and generating of salaries for incompetent and corrupt administrators hailing from the SPLM/A.
Kiir’s current federalism is not for development and no longer for the generation of fat salaries for the SPLM/A cadres, because the oil production and oil prices have gone down. It is just HEROIN for power hungry dreamers, hoping to get easily rich. Soon they will discover that they have been deceived and that the time of easy money to embezzle had passéd.
The extremely rich Federal Republic of Germany has a population of 82 million inhabitants and only 16 states that are able to fund their regional activities. States like Bavaria and Baden Wuertemberg have different German tribes in one State. It could have been easy to give each tribe its own, if Federalism was meant to be some kind of cheap modern tribalism.
There are also none German ethnic groups in Germany. I don’t mean the immigrants like the Turks and currently the Syrians. In the northern German State of SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN with the capital KIEL, there is the Danish and the Friesian Minority of Friesland.
The Sorbes, who are of Slavic Origin and therefore none Germans are in the States of BRANDENBURG and SACHSEN. They have no states of their own. They enjoy all their rights here including teaching their language and having their cultural activities.
Switzerland has four languages, German, French, Italian and Romanic. German Speakers are about 60% of the population yet other languages are recognised. From the 26 Cantons of Switzerland 4 are multilingual. BERN, FREIBURG and WALLIS speak German and French. GRAUBUENDEN speaks German, Italian and Romanic. These tribes or ethnic groups are all Swiss and could stay in one State. The system has been working for the last 170 years. It functions because of tolerance and the recognition of another.
This is the message President Kiir should preach to our people instead of endlessly creating new states as a solution for what are mistakenly perceived as tribal conflicts. Federalism is not modern tribalism or tribal administration.
Otherwise we would end up having more than 60 states for our different tribes. Our federalism would then surely fail. It would be unfundable.
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